“Do No Harm” Sub-Pages:
Jesus also warned us how not to encounter the culture. Here’s how Pope Francis explains this recurring theme in Gospels…
He comes for us, when we recognize that we are sinners. But if we are like the Pharisee, before the altar, who said: I thank you Lord, that I am not like other men, and especially not like the one at the door, like that publican, then we do not know the Lord’s heart, and we will never have the joy of experiencing this mercy! – Pope Francis, Homily, March 2013
These ideas, of our responsibility to continually strive (and ask forgiveness when we fail) to live as Christians in the world by following the Gospels, and avoiding the Pharisee problem, are ones we should be taking to prayer every day. They are completely fundamental to our Faith and to using our God-given gifts to advance the Kingdom of Heaven in our day and age.
Problems to Avoid:
Creating Stumbling Blocks for Others
Confusing Politics with Religion
Fighting Evil with Evil
Judging Others’ Intentions
Winning the Battle While Losing the War
Living as a Reaction to the Culture rather than to Christ
Jumping to Conclusions
Not Trusting in God
Being “More Catholic than the Pope”
Thinking of Yourself as Better than Others
Trying to Fix Things Too Quickly
A judicious silence is always better than the truth spoken without charity. – St. Francis de Sales
Practice Good Communication Skills:
Take time to understand before reacting. Ask questions!
Beware of assumptions and the rather high possibility of misunderstanding (especially in an emotionally heated situation).
Enter into every situation with the recognition of yourself as a sinner in need of God’s help.
Don’t assume the worst about people (I know faithful Catholics struggling with infertility who have been lectured by well-meaning fellow Catholics on the evils of birth control – what a massive breach of charity!!!).
“Oh, how we love to vilify our opponents – from both sides. How easy to assume that those on ‘our’ side are right and wise and good; how those on ‘their’ side are treacherous and foolish and deceptive. I have found right and good and wisdom on both sides. I have found foolishness and treachery and deception on both sides as well. I have experienced how good intentions can be warped into poor choices no matter what the side.” – Abby Johnson, Unplanned, location 219